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Quinn: High Speed Rail Service Begins Today

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Ann Hermes / The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images

Ann Hermes / The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KMOX)  – Governor Pat Quinn,  Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider and Amtrak officials announced Thursday that 110-mph rail service has started on a 15-mile segment of the Chicago-St. Louis corridor, just in time for the heavily-traveled Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Quinn calls today’s announcement a major step towards the establishment of a high-speed rail network in Illinois, one of his key priorities as he works to modernize the state’s infrastructure.

“This next generation rail system gives passengers a safer, more reliable way to travel across Illinois and connect with family this holiday season,” Governor Quinn said. “Today’s announcement demonstrates significant progress on this major transportation initiative that will continue to boost Illinois’ economy and make sure our state has the best rail system in the nation.”

Starting today, Amtrak Lincoln Service trains are operating at a maximum speed of 110 mph between Dwight and Pontiac.

These include northbound Trains 300, 302, 304, and southbound Trains 301, 305, and 307.

Other Amtrak trains on the Chicago-St. Louis corridor will continue to operate at 79 mph top speeds, including the Texas Eagle (trains 21/321/421 and 22/322/422).

In addition, select Amtrak Lincoln Service trains will have free AmtrakConnect Wi-Fi service throughout the coaches, business class seating and cafes.

Passengers are advised to look for the Illinois High-Speed Rail logo and AmtrakConnect posters on trains 300, 301, 304 & 305.

The 15-mile segment showcases major infrastructure improvements, state-of-the-art signaling, and significant technological and safety advancements.

The 110-mph service is projected to be in place along nearly 75 percent of the Chicago-St. Louis corridor by 2015, reducing travel time by more than an hour.

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